Monday, January 25, 2010

Avatar and Utopia

Tom and I had been waiting impatiently for Avatar to come out since seeing the amazing trailers earlier in the year. We've seen it twice so far, in 3D the second time. (Yes, it does add to the experience and the goggles are only slightly uncomfortable on the bridge of the nose.) There has been no shortage of commentary on its artistry, reworked themes, and audacious use of the latest technologies. But another idea suggested itself to me upon seeing it for the second time.

Many of you Futurodyssey readers will remember that I recently completed my Masters thesis on the topic of utopia. So I couldn't resist the opportunity to do a short review of Avatar through the lens of utopia.

Read it here and follow the links to related articles if you are interested.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Mind Flight Continues

Following below is a preview of Tom's next presentation at Rio Salado Lifelong Learning Center on Wednesday January 27th from 10:00-12:00. If you have been following the book and or presentations at the Rio Salado Center, you won't want to miss this next chapter in Tom's philosophical search for enlightenment, wisdom, and love, (especially as the woman he has been waiting for finally enters his sphere!) If you haven't, you will catch right up and explore along with Tom the role of reciprocity in love, the promises and pitfalls of Internet education, and the exciting and paradigm shifting world of futures studies.

Those of you on the mailing list for upcoming chapters of Tom's book will be recieving chapter seven shortly. Chapters One through Six can be viewed on Copthorne Macdonald's The Wisdom Page. Chapters Seven through Twelve are available monthly directly from us. If you are not on the list to receive the chapters as a Word document, email me (Jeanne) and you will be added.

Here is the Chapter Seven preview:

Mind Flight: Enlightenment, Wisdom, and the Search for Love

Chapter Seven: The Dialogues of Love

If the first half of the nineties are a time of illumination, creative emergence, and the evolution of a new order of things, more complex, more positive, more invigorating, and more enlightening than anything before – of the discovery of Arizona and the future – then, in a Yin Yang oscillation of things, the next few years are a time of great emotional chaos, deep and intense disappointment and misery, and a descent into the darkness again. The break with Lisa is finally and irrevocably cemented, intellectual and personal challenges emerge on the work front, and the domestic stability that seemed achieved once again dissolves. Yet, the challenges fuel new insights and opportunities to apply his idea of reciprocity to his decades-long search for love, and a serendipitous resonance with the Chancellor of the college system where Tom is employed results in the emergence of a futures institute where Tom can further develop his ideas on future consciousness. He embarks on another whirlwind reading schedule, devouring the ideas of futurists and cultural critics Wendell Bell, Neil Postman, Walter Truett Anderson, Barbara Marx Hubbard, and others, and discovers the optimistic, pro-technology, pro-rationalistic, ultra-visionary, transhumanists. A whole new arena opens up as Tom discovers the futurist community. At the college, Internet education explodes on the scene just as Tom is finishing his first book, The Odyssey of the Future, and he begins to explore not only the great promises of computer and information technology and how the new technologies can be applied to education, but also the pitfalls inherent in a form of education that replaces the teacher with a machine. On the romantic front, there are more misses than hits, until one day, when he isn’t even looking for it, a fidgety woman with bare arms takes a seat next to his and the universe shifts.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Upcoming Events for Spring 2010

New Year's greetings to our friends and followers, near and far as the future shoots us into another year. If you are in the Valley of the Sun, there is lots on offer for futurist thinkers this spring. Here is a rundown of events for the next four months. You can find dates, times, and topics in the events bar on this blog, as well as maps to locations.

Meet and Greet other Arizona Futurists

In the early winter our friend and fellow futurist, Joan Foltz, organized the first meeting of the Arizona chapter of the World Future Society. The turn-out has been great. Come join us each month to discuss a range of topics with a futurist slant.

Phoenix has an active futurists’ community that plans to provide a forum for insightful discussions and introduce futures thinking concepts for people to use in their professional and personal lives.

Interested in speaking? Any specific topic you want the group to present? Want more information on The World Future Society or futures studies programs? Contact Joan Foltz, 480-756-8449,

"Hot, Flat, and Crowded"

Join The Arizona Chapter for our next meeting.

When: Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010, 6:30-8:30 PM

Where: University of Advancing Technology, The Auditorium

2625 W. Baseline Rd., Tempe, AZ (Baseline and I-10)
(See map on the events bar.)
(NOTE: Enter through the back entrance after 6 PM.)

Topic: “Hot, Flat and Crowded”

A panel will lead a discussion on the possible future of a "Hot, Flat, and Crowded" world. How does human psychology adjust to changing living conditions? What technologies might change current assumptions? What are possible outcomes of environmental challenges that have not been considered? Discussion will explore possible outcomes.


Tom Lombardo, Ph.D. is the Co-Director of the Center for Future Consciousness and Faculty Chair of Psychology and Philosophy at Rio Salado College. An active member of various futurist organizations, he is the author of numerous futurist articles and two books on the future, The Evolution of Future Consciousness and Contemporary Futurist Thought..

Debashis Chowdhury of Intrinz Publishing, author of In Our Own Image: Humanity’s Quest for Divinity via Technology, and board member of the Foresight Network Sustainability forum.

Joe McCormack, graduate student of technology at UAT focusing on solar sheaths, and frequent contributor to the Journal of Advancing Technology.

Tom Teaching Spring Course at Sun City City Grand, Affiliate of ASU's Osher Institute

Along with his popular series at Rio Salado's Lifelong Learning Institute, Tom will now be teaching a short spring series on the future at Sun City Grand Lifelong Learning Academy on the West side. If you have not caught his presentations on science fiction or the colonization of space, now is a good time to take in these two exciting talks. If you are new to futures thinking, his Introduction to the Future is a good place to start. Attend all three on consecutive Mondays in April. Information and maps are on the side bar for events.

Mind Flight: Wisdom, Enlightenment, and the Search for Love

Tom continues his presentations based on his new book, Mind Flight, at Rio Salado Lifelong Learning Center. This has been a very popular series. For those of you who have missed the presentations, you can catch up on the story and themes on Copthorne Macdonald's The Wisdom Page. Mind Flight is a powerful philosophical narrative, a blend of the intellectual and the personal that resonates strongly with audiences. See the events side bar for dates and upcoming chapter topics.